SONGS OF FREEDOM: Part Seven

Rastas and Orthodoxy Part Seven of Seven! RTE: I hope you both get there. Looking back, after this wonderful journey, what do you feel that you’ve brought to Orthodoxy from your Rasta experience that could help other Orthodox converts, especially those from a more middle-class background? MICHAEL: Living simple. Seeing your brother as yourself. Seeing people not just as a part of you, but as a part of God because He created them. The real Rasta people saw that, and these were the things that first attracted us. I think that Orthodox people as a whole need to do a lot of work on their diet, nutrition, a simple lifestyle. I’ve … [Read more...]

SONGS OF FREEDOM: Part Six

St. Basil of Ostrog Part Six of Seven RTE: I understand that both of you have a strong tie to St. Basil of Ostrog. He isn’t well- known in the West, so how did that come about? MICHAEL: A couple of years ago I received a flyer about a book about him called, The Mystery of the Wonder-worker of Ostrog. The picture on the flyer drew me to him, and although we didn’t get the book at the time, the picture kept surfacing, and I found myself saying, “Holy St. Basil, Wonder-Worker of Ostrog, pray to God for us!” A year later I saw the book at St. Mary’s, and I thought, “This is my guy!” He was looking so holy and kind, blessing us from … [Read more...]

SONGS OF FREEDOM: Part Five

More On Orthodoxy Part Five of Seven RTE: Probably every married woman reading this can feel what you went through, Teresa. When were you finally baptized, Michael? MICHAEL: About six years after I met Fr. Paisius. I was working towards baptism, going to classes along with our son Nesta, who was to be baptized with me. As I said earlier, we’d been doing this Rasta Revival Campout, with people attending from all over America. One year we had twelve different countries represented at the revival, topping off at 130 people. It was mostly Rasta, and even some pagan people who were sympathetic to Rasta, or thought Rasta was something it … [Read more...]

SONGS OF FREEDOM: Part Four

Encountering Orthodoxy RTE: What finally brought you to Orthodoxy? MICHAEL: All through my Rasta years, my reason for being there was to get closer to God. I think it was just God working with me through the Rasta movement. As I said earlier, in everything you read about His Majesty, in every speech, every proclamation, he talked about the Church, the Gospels, the saints, and especially about Jesus Christ, but I didn’t focus on those things. The first Orthodox encounter I had was at the reggae fest here in Kansas City ten years ago. I always had a booth at the festival, and one year there was a man walking around in a long black … [Read more...]